Members of Holy Redeemer Parish in North Portland convened to clean up the parish grounds and the surrounding neighborhood. (Courtesy Megan Lehman/Holy Redeemer Parish)
Members of Holy Redeemer Parish in North Portland convened to clean up the parish grounds and the surrounding neighborhood. (Courtesy Megan Lehman/Holy Redeemer Parish)
Holy Redeemer Parish in North Portland partnered with SOLVE for a clean-up event at the parish and neighboring properties on Aug 27.

The event, hosted by the parish’s Laudato Si’/Care for Creation Circle, helped build community, care for God’s creation, and boost the beauty and safety of the neighborhood.

“It was great to see so many new and familiar faces, but most of all, I was struck with gratitude for the positive attitudes from everyone who participated and the nice passersby,” said Jenna Ahn McGuire, one of the organizers. In a note afterward to participants, McGuire said the event made a small, but tangible impact.

“Care for creation and environmental justice can sometimes feel so big and outside of our control, but I'm convinced that these small acts of love at the most local levels do make a difference on our community and on our hearts,” McGuire explained.

Another organizer, Megan Lehman, offered a reflection after the event. Visiting another Holy Redeemer Church, this one in North Bend, Lehman heard Deacon Pete Broussard in a homily tell worshippers to think of themselves not essentially as sinners but as “creations made in God’s image.”

Lehman went on to remind listeners that everything is God’s creation and should be treated with that in mind.

“A little action can go a long way,” she wrote. “We can lead by example and we can show our children how vital it is to care for each other and the only earth we have. So let’s stop thinking of ourselves as sinners and start thinking of ourselves as people of God.”

Lehman urged Catholics to become Solve leaders and host their own clean-up events or Laudato Si’/Care for Creation circles.

The Holy Redeemer Care for Creation Circle meets next after the 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday, Sept. 25. All are welcome.